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How Customer Data Platforms Can Play a Key Role in Delivering Business Value for Healthcare

Two Doctors Consult During Video Call

While most customer data platforms (CDP) are used for customer experience and marketing applications, the potential for better understanding and engaging patients and members is increasingly critical.  

Functionally, CDP’s collect, unify, cleanse, segment, and mobilize digital channels to engage customers.

In case you’re thinking “what’s the difference between a CDP, a master data management (MDM) platform, a patient 360 platform, and a digital experience platform?,” Gartner has a comprehensive guide by Lizzy Foo Kune and Benjamin Bloom that does an excellent job answering those questions. According to Gartner, one key piece of advice is to make choices based on “key use cases” that align with your organizations goals.

The primary consideration here is how CDP’s can help deliver the best possible communications, for the best possible outcomes, based on data-driven insights. 

What if a CDP enabled better engagement in care management programs to improve health outcomes? I think if we look at a CDP as how to better engage members or patients, we can think about combining this capability with analytics to identify what we want to do (e.g., delivering communications based on data driven insights).

So, resisting the temptation of “magical thinking,” here are just a few use cases (of many) that could significantly improve health outcomes and help people navigate care with mutual benefit:  

CDP Opportunity #1: Personalize Communications for Specific Healthcare Programs

CDP’s can help connect with members or patients using the most private, and appropriate channel for certain types of service. Use cases could be: 

  • Connect individuals struggling with anxiety and mood disorders to digital mental health services where there is a shortage of clinicians. Treatment categories with clinical staff shortages could drive alternative treatment options to help manage many types of conditions.   
  • Connect with individuals about sensitive treatment needs based on profile analytics or online browsing patterns. Browsing behavior, search keywords, or clinical data could be used to connect people with therapies or programs to treat reproductive health, weight management, PCSCs (primary care sensitive conditions). 

CDP Opportunity #2: Right Time, Right Place Member Engagement

CPDs can utilize user behavior data as a way of promoting programs and outreach based on “time and place” searches.  Common use cases might be: 

  • Avoid pediatric ER visits by promoting pediatric urgent care and telemedicine for individuals searching pediatric treatment after normal clinical business hours. 
  • Promote best fit Medicare products for individuals that will be first time Medicare beneficiaries (promoting out of pocket costs and trusted provider network inclusion.) 
  • Offer at-home care, telemedicine, or Rx by mail programs to patients that are immobilized with specific conditions like neuropathy, gout, joint replacement recovery. 

CDP Opportunity #3: Add Value and Convenience to Existing Healthcare Consumers

  • Promote wellness benefits to individuals who play an active role in their own health with rewards programs, gym memberships, online support communities. 
  • Promote appropriate medical devices and supplies to members in moments of need (clinically based, or even as outstanding FSA balances are set to expire).  
  • Promote engagement plans to self-insured customers who struggle to manage costs for certain employee segments. This can be an effort to pair at risk employee populations to avoid chronic conditions. 

Another key element prior to selecting or implementing a CDP should be to apply key insights from CX programs that better inform key influencers. Families often have individuals that act as a sort of “Chief Medical Officer” for the family and could be used to develop engagement strategies. Trusted provider relationships (derived through analytics) could be used as well, especially in the context of value based programs.

In summary, CDP’s can play a critical role in digital outreach and engagement, and certainly not by themselves. Though primarily used for marketing, healthcare organizations can move away from subjective decision-making and rely on data-driven insights to enhance clinical outcomes and operational performance.

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Douglas Stewart

Doug Stewart is a Healthcare Principal with over 20 years of experience implementing technology solutions to solve enterprise business problems. With a focus on Payer technologies, Doug has been responsible for implementing enterprise scale change for the Affordable Care Act, Commercial and Government Programs Sales and Marketing Transformations, Business Relationship Management, and Information Technology Initiatives. Doug has a long history of Community Engagement, and academic interests at the University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University, Columbia University, and Harvard Business School. He also enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters gardening outdoors and enjoying the culture that New York City has to offer.

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